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Vaccine. 2004 Sep 9;22(27-28):3797-808.

Mucosal immunization with purified flagellin from Salmonella induces systemic and mucosal immune responses in C3H/HeJ mice.

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Department of Pharmacy, Biomedical Centre, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 580, SE-751 23 Uppsala, Sweden.


This study investigated the immune response elicited in C3H/HeJ mice after oral, parenteral and nasal immunization with purified flagellin from Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis alone or conjugated to starch microparticles as adjuvant or together with the uptake-enhancer recombinant cholera toxin B-subunit (rCTB). Systemic (IgM-IgG, IgA, IgG2a, IgG2b, IgG1) and local (s-IgA) humoral immune responses in the mice were analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Primed splenocytes were also stimulated in vitro with flagellin and the supernatants analyzed for cytokine production. Finally, immunized mice were challenged orally with live Salmonella. A high flagellin-specific IgM-IgG response was seen in all groups, especially in mice immunized nasally with flagellin plus rCTB or subcutaneously, but a strong systemic antibody response was also induced when free antigen was given orally. Intranasal or subcutaneous immunization of mice with flagellin plus rCTB or oral immunization with flagellin plus microparticles resulted in a significantly greater mucosal response (higher s-IgA titers in feces) than seen in the control group (P <0.05). The mucosal IgA responses were significantly correlated with the serum IgA titers. The subclass profile in serum revealed a mixed Th1/Th2-type response, with a predominance of Th1-type, as indicated by the subclass ratio (IgG1/IgG2a + IgG2b). The splenocytes stimulated in vitro produced interferon (IFN)-gamma, at levels, which increased with time. The group immunized with flagellin plus rCTB subcutaneously had a relatively higher IFN-gamma response than the other groups. Interleukin (IL)-2 was also produced, especially in mice immunized nasally or subcutaneously with flagellin conjugated to microparticles. However, neither IL-4 nor IL-5 was produced in any of the groups. After oral challenge with live serovar Enteritidis, the groups immunized orally or nasally with free flagellin had significantly lower degree of infection than the control group (P <0.05).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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